Sunday, March 17, 2013

Samsung Chromebook 3 Series: When A Tablet Isn't Enough

Chromebook 3G with a Decalrus orange carbon fiber decal
If you saw my last post about Chromebooks, you saw me gushing about how amazingly great the user experience is. So great in fact, that I'll be saying goodbye to my friend the Samsung Chromebook 3 Series very soon because my Google Chromebook Pixel will be here soon. That's how good. I was so impressed by the power and speed of this amazingly little device, I opted to get the best one made. But what prompted my trying one in the first place? As I've stated before, I used to be one of those that downed them without having tried one.

"I've used Chrome. It's just a web browser. How can you make a computer that's just a web browser?"

I had heard that Asus would be making a touch version of their amazing 11" Zenbook Prime, and was patiently waiting for that. Then I heard (on Reddit I believe) that the number one selling laptop for 3 months (five now) on Amazon was the Samsung Chromebook 3 Series. 


Yup. That's kinda hard to ignore. I started seriously reading about them. I heard about how amazing Chrome Remote Desktop was on a Chromebook. People were remoting back to home Desktops machines and using Photoshop. That's how good it was. And I had to try one myself. Very glad I did. 

The amazing keyboard and touchpad, again with the orange carbon fiber decal from Decalrus applied

What is amazing about this laptop is easy to explain. The keyboard is fast and outstanding. The touchpad is sensitive and fast. The operating system (ChromeOS) is very fast, very easy to use, and more secure than anything else you can buy. And you aren't prepared for how not-useless it is. You make this assumption that you won't be able to do the things you want to do. But you can. Is it perfect? No. I can list the things that aren't fantastic.

1) The screen is good, but it's not the brightest. You won't be using this device outside. That being said, it's not a bad screen at all. Viewing angles could be better. The resolution could be higher. 

2) The battery life isn't bad. 5-6 hours. Not terrible for something this light and compact, but yeah it could be better.
 3) Yes, it's plastic construction. It's very well done plastic construction, but you can force some creaks out of it if you twist it a little. 

 4) No, the keyboard isn't back-lit. Would be nice. I work at night a lot. 

But because of that amazing keyboard, amazing touch pad (first laptop where I'm not constantly bumping the track pad when typing) and incredible speakers that you have to hear to believe, it's a total joy to use. You aren't expecting actual bass response. You aren't expecting the microphone to be so good that you can use the laptop as speakerphone with Google Voice. You will be shocked the first time it boots up in 8 seconds. You will be amazed as it wakes from sleep the second you open the lid. You aren't expecting to fall in love with this cheap (250 bucks) laptop. You aren't expecting that at all. 

It's just an amazing combination of features that combine to make an overall highly positive user experience. If you've been on the fence, just get one. It will become your favorite device pretty quickly.